Thursday, September 29, 2005

Game 159 - Mariners Win!!!

Nice to see the hometown nine put a W on the board.

Soriano appears to be on the mend. Good news after reading about Bobby Madritsch earlier. Eddie managed to wrap things up with minimal suspense. If indeed that was Ryan Franklin's final performance in a Mariners uniform, it ended quite well. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Three with Oakland and we're done. Hardly seems possible that the season is almost complete. And the playoffs start next week. Sheesh.

Jeff Shaw Loves Baseball

If you don't accomplish anything else today, make sure you read this article by the illustrious Jeff Shaw.

Game 158 - Sisyphus

Are you familiar with the myth of Sisyphus? The guy who was condemned to an eternity of rolling a boulder up a hill - only to have it fall back as he reached the pinnacle? Watching the Mariners these days is beginning to remind me of Sisyphus - futile and hopeless labor.

4 more games. At least we have Felix to look forward to on Sunday.

Edit: Here's a little nugget from the Mariner Notebook at the P.I. this morning:

"Bobby Madritsch will have an MRI today on the left shoulder he hurt April 6. Madritsch hasn’t had surgery, and had been throwing aggressively in the past month trying to come back from the injury. Last week, with pain in the shoulder, he was shut down – and the pain has not subsided. “I’m a mess,” Madritsch said. …"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Game 157 And Stuff

Another one for the L column. Felix is the only reason I'm watching the club right now.

Edit: That's not entirely true - Lopez and Betancourt - get used to hearing those 2 names mentioned together. They almost won the game last night. They are fun to watch.

It looks like Buck had the right idea last night - walk Ichiro! and take your chances with the rest of the inconsistent lineup.

Some news from the Mariners Notebook at the P.I. this morning:

  • Bucky is movin' on.
  • Snelling had his surgery.
  • Dan will get the start on Friday - will catch an inning or two but will not bat.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

At What Price?

Here's a great story by Eric Neel over at ESPN that tells the story of Robb Nen's last pitch. Check it out - probably one of the better baseball related stories that I have read in recent memory.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ichiro! Joins Elite Club

As reported in the P.I. this morning, Ichiro! has amassed more hits than anybody in his first 5 seasons in MLB. Another reason why he is such a special player.

Edit: Or in any 5 year span. Awesome.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Game 154 - Eddie Delivers

I think the best part of last night's game in Toronto was seeing Eddie Guardado pitch with confidence in the bottom of the 9th. He's been tentative lately - not the hyperactive Eddie that we got used to seeing earlier in the season. But he looked like the old Eddie last night - and that bodes well for 2006.

Edit: I've had a change of heart concerning the 2005 report card. I'll wait until the Mariners play out the season before posting.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Game 153 - Why?

One must ask why Mike Hargrove decided to let Joel Pineiro go back out for the bottom of the 8th last night. Or certainly one must ask why Hargrove decided to leave him in after giving up the walk to Koskie. After the disaster that was the 1st inning, Pineiro got himself sorted out and pitched a good game. But it was clear to even the most casual observer that he was done by the time the 8th rolled around. I'm not cutting Hargrove any slack here - the pen was full of fresh arms - no excuse for leaving Pineiro out there to take the loss.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

If You Ever Visit Turner Field...

Here's an interesting read from ESPN today concerning hand washing and where you are likely to find the highest concentration of people who don't bother washing after visiting the bathroom.

Game 152 - Long Live The King (again)

Felix again showed why he is the real deal last night in Toronto. He bounced back from 2 less than stellar outings with an outing that almost went into the history books. I don't have any trouble watching Mariner baseball when the King is on the mound.

How about that Greg Dobbs? He has gone 8 for 20 in the last 7 days,
yielding a .400/.409/.500 line.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Inevitable Intensification Of Bland

It's been a while since I plugged the illustrious Jeff Angus - so check out the following piece that speaks to one of the central issues that drags down every organization.

Nightengale Sings

So here's Bob Nightengale's latest from USA Today. There's a blurb about Bavasi being on the hotseat - but the sidebar is the most interesting. He says that the Mariners will be after Junior this offseason (if healthy). It makes one wonder if Mr. Nightengale is related to another Bob that has an affinity for writing a "Junior returns to Seattle" piece every now and again.

Game 151 - Further Down The Road To Futility

Another one for the L column. Two bright spots in last night's game for me:

  1. Beltre's home run.
  2. Meche's curveball. Wicked.

It's Felix this afternoon. Long live the King!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Game 150 - Sexson!

Not to give away the plot to one chapter of the 2005 report card, but Richie Sexson has certainly earned an A+ this year.

In general, it appears that the players are starting to wear down a bit. Hargrove certainly looks like he has had enough - if you didn't see the game, there were several shots of Grover in the dugout rubbing his forehead in the bottom of the ninth - appeared he was thinking "please make it stop!".

Food For Thought

Please check out this gem from Dr. Detecto.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Games 146, 147, 148, and 149 - Why Bother?

Not much to say about that. The Mariners got swept. On to Canada.

I'm working on the 2005 report card - first installment should be up by Friday.

Edit: The following was contained at the bottom of the Notebook feature in the PI this morning:

"To make room on the 40-man roster for Morse, first baseman/DH Bucky Jacobsen was taken off it, which may signal the end of his Seattle career. Jacobsen, who spent the season recovering from a series of knee surgeries, can be a free agent at the end of the season."

And so it goes.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Games 143, 144, and 145 - Swept 'Em Again

I'm only going to comment on Game 145 - being that I attended. It was a nice day in Seattle, although a bit cool in the shade. My sister and brother-in-law are in town from Corpus Christi, TX. They went to the game in shorts and t-shirts - against my advice. By the 4th inning, my brother-in-law made a trip to the team store to get sweatshirts. I thought I exercised remarkable restraint by failing to say "I told you so". But I digress. We sat in section 326, row 4 (awesome seats - check out the view):

The garlic fries are still fantastic. The game was probably the best game I have ever seen at Safeco Field. Best may not be the right word - but most exciting may be a better descriptor. There was lots of offense - sloppy defense - good defense - terrible pitching - and an excruciating ninth inning that finally resulted in a W for the hometown nine and a completion of the sweep.


Just a couple of thoughts:

  • The Angels bullpen stinks.
  • Sexson's homerun left the yard quickly - even though it was going to the opposite field.
  • Beltre sets his feet for the throw to first like nobody else I have ever seen.
  • Raul Rocks (at least that's what the scoreboard said).

That was my last game at Safeco for the season. Even though this season has been a major disappointment, I had a great time yesterday.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Games 140, 141, and 142 - Another Series Loss

I must admit that it is becoming extremely difficult to write about this team anymore. They just don't inspire me. Perhaps something will happen in the last few weeks of the season that will rekindle my interest, but for now I just can't get too enthused.

Felix finally had an outing that was less than what the fans have been hoping for. To me, it was still an impressive performance. After giving up 5, he settled down and pretty methodically shut the O's down. Of course the M's offense was never able to do any real damage - as has been the story for most of the year.

The Angles come to town. I'm going to Safeco on Wednesday for my last visit of the season. Game report and pictures to follow.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Testy Nelson

Here's an interesting quote from Larry LaRue over at the TNT today:

"How about testy? Someone asked Jeff Nelson if he could remember the last time he’d walked a batter to force in the winning run. He answered only the first half of the question.

“You mean, can I remember the last time I came into the game after seven days off with the bases loaded? No, I can’t,” Nelson said. “I was throwing all fastballs. I didn’t throw sliders because I didn’t have time to throw them in the bullpen …”

Does that mean he wasn’t given time to adequately warm up in the bullpen?

“As far as you know, I was warmed up,” Nelson said.

That’s not likely to sit well with manager Mike Hargrove, who took the loss with a grimace – and Nelson’s quotes with a shake of his head and no comment."

It's high time that Jeff Nelson packed his bags and sought his fortune elsewhere.

Edit: The more I think about this quote, the more irritated I get. It seems clear now that Nelson went into the game predisposed to do less than his best. Whether or not he was poorly used (and I think you can make a good arguement that he was), it's not his place to question the Manager's decisions with the game on the line. I hope that was his last appearance as a Mariner.

Game 139 - Ouch!

I suppose that if you see enough baseball games, you'll sooner or later see a game like yesterday's affair in Oakland. The Mariners seemingly had the game iced - only to have the bullpen implode and give it away. Too bad - but that's the way it goes sometimes. In the overall debacle that has been the 2005 season, this game just adds to the general feeling of malaise that I am experiencing when it comes to Mariner baseball.

Only 23 games until next season.

Edit: And props to Ryan Franklin for a well pitched game yesterday. Perhaps he should go on short rest more often.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Morse Suspended

This is starting to get old. Check out Morse's statement. Not sure if I buy this or not - but if true, he's getting screwed. In any event, I find it quite disappointing that another member of the Mariners has been identified as a steroid violator.

Edit: Just want to be sure my position on this is clear. I don't condone steroid use. I do think it's unfair to punish a guy 3 times for the same infraction.

Game 138 - Pineiro Shines

Another one for the W column. I must admit that I am conflicted concerning Joel Pineiro's future with this team - but probably less so than with one Gil Meche. Pineiro had another decent outing last night. It would appear that he has at least found a way to repeat these effective starts. I don't believe that he will ever be the TOR guy that people were talking about several years ago - but I do think that he can be an effective 3 or 4 guy - if he stays healthy. But I'm not complaining - another win is always a good thing.

I was pretty sure Richie Sexson was going to unload a *long* home run last night. He didn't - but I don't think it will be long before he does.

Maybe Mike Morse will learn how to play left field after all. He didn't look that bad last night.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Games 136 and 137 - Blah And Bang!

Nothing much to say about game 136.

Felix provided another outstanding outing in game 137. The remarkable thing about Felix (IMHO) is his ability to stay cool under pressure. I'm sure you've all read the accounts in the dailies concerning his ability to refocus after becoming distracted, but it was very clear yesterday to the observer that he was able to make his pitches when he absolutely needed to. And he will only get better. Long Live The King!!!

A few words about Yuniesky Betancourt. I'm surprised that there haven't been any comparisons to the young Ozzie Smith - who was, as you may recall, quite a light hitter in his early days with the Padres. But that magical glove. And Betancourt is every bit the dazzler on defense that Ozzie was.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Games 134 and 135 - The Season In Microcosm

The last two games in Anaheim perfectly sum up the frustration that has become the 2005 baseball season. One L and one W - and the consistently inconsistent Seattle Mariners keep rolling along. Just a couple of thoughts:

  • When Vlad hits one, it stays hit.
  • We really need an everyday left fielder. Sorry, but Morse and Dobbs just are not cutting it.
  • The bullpen seems to have recovered.
  • Ichiro!
  • Beltre is such an awesome defensive third baseman - he makes the really difficult plays look quite easy.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Game 133 - Pineiro Returns

No sooner do I post something concerning the demise of Joel Pineiro as a good pitcher...

So props to Joel for a good game and another one in the W column. Also props to Miguel Ojeda and Jose Lopez for exhibiting some power today. Nice to see a split with the Yanks.

Edit: Or not. See Dave's alternate (and scholarly) take over at USS M .

Game 132 - Deuling Pitchers

In a pre-game interview, Randy Johnson minimized the importance of his start against the Mariners and King Felix last night. By the 6th inning, it was quite clear that Randy was blowing smoke in the pre-game interview, and throwing smoke on the mound. He was obviously into the game - and he managed to keep the Mariner squad down. Which really didn't come as much of a surprise - this year's lineup really seems to be lost when facing a quality starting pitcher.

Felix threw what I thought was an excellent game last night. He somehow managed to retain his composure and held the potent Yankee offense pretty much in check. Two mistakes - two longballs - and another one for the L column. But it was an impressive performance nonetheless. Long live the King!